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Discussion Starter #1
I listen to Grover Washington alot, but how should I go about to imitate his music?

What are some tips you suggest about imitating Grover Washington Jr?
 

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Don't imitate, just absorb what you can without copying his licks and listen to other things as well and try to come up with things yourself otherwise you will end up a clone or so heavily influenced by Grover that most will say, hey you sound like Grover a bit, and that's all they will say.

If you are aiming to be a hired hand studio player then copying other well known players licks and style as best as can be done is a thing to do because someone might hire you to play in the style of a well known player but this is different to a persons own personal playing.
 

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Listen to phrasing and emulate it. Listen to tone and make necessary adjustments in your embouchure. Same stuff as trying to play like anyone else I guess.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
How about a no on imitating him?
Dude, I am very inspired by him, I CANT help it!!!!

Don't discourage me from playing his music, it's not cool.

It is also very un-cool when you post a comment like this.

That sounded like a put down.

Ever heard of the phrase "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you"?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Saxpiece, im not trying to imitate, I just want to see if I can get tips on playing his music without any licks.

Licks come later.
 

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the first step for me would be getting his set-up.

couf -- Keilwerth Saxofones, I think.

MPC´s? I don´t know.

with the same set up practicing a lot after have heard his records ad nauseum.:bluewink:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I have the same mouthpiece facing as he did, I play on a Meyer 7 mouthpiece with a Rico 2.5 reed.


I plan to get 1 Keilwerth Alto and 3 Selmer MKVI horns (Alto, Tenor and Soprano)

I might as well gold-plate them too.
 

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I think the same process applies with anyone you admire and want to emulate or draw inspiration from... listen to as much of that source as you can and definitely try playing along. Or when you're playing something, try to "think like" or "sound like" them...

I think maybe your choice of words led to the knee jerk reaction in the earlier post...most don't want to directly imitate our influences (other than working on a transcription or something).

When working on a transcription your goal may not necessarily be to exactly duplicate nuance and phrasing. But, even if you practiced a Grover solo trying to get as close as you could (which I don't think is a bad thing from a learning perspective and if you're trying to play in a specific style/genre, etc), if some of that influence or certain phrases comes out in your playing it will still sound like you. Hopefully, you don't want to sound like a carbon copy.
 

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I believe Grover played a HR Berg 130/0 with a #5 reed on tenor, he played a Runyon custom on soprano. His playing was funky and drenched in blues, no matter what he played he came through.
 

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I believe Grover played a HR Berg 130/0 with a #5 reed on tenor...
Yep, not a setup that I'd recommend for anyone - but it worked for him.
 

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Yes, go for the tone. This, after all, is his sound. (That, and his bad-*** sense of rhythm).

Anyhow, working to emulate another player you admire is one of the most important things you can practice, regardless of musical style or goals. (But that's a discussion for another day...)

This is an exercise in developing your own inner tonal imagination AND strengthening the connection between that imagination and what comes out of your horn.

So, in simple terms, the process is:
1. Listen
2. Try to play back in your head — kind of like a tape recorder.
3. Then, while imagining the Grover playback, put the horn in your mouth and play.

The trick is to NOT pay attention to what comes out of your horn during this process. Rather, put as much of your focus as possible on the Grover playback in your mind.

With repeated efforts, your body (i.e. embouchure, throat, tongue position) will figure out how to create the sounds you are imagining.

You will not get the results you desire overnight. Think of yourself as a young child learning to speak your native tongue, simply attempting to replicate the sounds of language you hear spoken around you. In this case, Grover is your musical parent.

And, don't worry, you'll never play just like Grover Washington, Jr. But, you'll probably sound a heck of a lot better after you invest your energy into this process.

By the way, please begin with baby steps: take a song—or a part of a song—of his that doesn't have a lot of notes. Work on just a few notes at a time.

My two opinionated cents. :)

respectfully,
~Rick
 

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I plan to get 1 Keilwerth Alto and 3 Selmer MKVI horns (Alto, Tenor and Soprano)

I might as well gold-plate them too.
I wish I had as much money as you.

In all seriousness, make sure you learn the pentatonic scales (major and minor) and develop your skills in altissimo. What everyone else said about trying to emulate his sound and trying to learn his stuff by ear is more important, but having those scales down should make learning his stuff easier, and you will need some basic altissimo skills if you want to hit every note he does.
 

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Grovers tools would be minor/major and other pentatonics, Altissimo and other things but it really gets down to musical ideas and Grovers musical ideas were pretty good, how he got it all rolling.

How he played with a 5 reed is beyond me.

I've played Rico 4's and they are like planks of wood.
 

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I have the same mouthpiece facing as he did, I play on a Meyer 7 mouthpiece with a Rico 2.5 reed.


I plan to get 1 Keilwerth Alto and 3 Selmer MKVI horns (Alto, Tenor and Soprano)

I might as well gold-plate them too.
What are you playing now? Are you saying that you play a Meyer 7 on tenor? As much as I encourage people to find their own setup when emulating their sonic heroes, it's going to be difficult to cop Grover's sound on a Meyer.

Why are you planning to get Selmer Mk VI alto/tenor/sop? There are such better horns available these days.
 

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I plan to get 1 Keilwerth Alto and 3 Selmer MKVI horns (Alto, Tenor and Soprano)

I might as well gold-plate them too.
Haha, well good luck with that.
Unless you're that loaded.

(I don't know, but that post made me laugh because I haven't heard anybody say that in a while.)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Dr.G---------
I play on a Meyer 7 mouthpiece for my alto sax with rico 2.5 orange box reeds, I sound great on a student alto sax,.

I plan to get the Mark VI Alto/tenor sop because I like the vintage look and sound of these horns. I sound awesome on a student sax, so I thought to myself "why don't I try to upgrade to a professional saxophone, it wouldn't be such a bad idea.
 
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